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The Amyrlin Seat is the leader of the Aes Sedai in the White Tower in Tar Valon. Her full title is "Watcher of the Seals. The Flame of Tar Valon. The Amyrlin Seat," but she is usually just referred to as the Amyrlin.

Description, duties, and detailsEdit

The Amyrlin is chosen by the Hall of the Tower for life, and forsakes her former Ajah to be seen as "from all Ajahs and yet of none", symbolized by her stole striped with all seven Ajah colors. The position can only be held by female channelers, and presumably only one who belongs to the White Tower. Interestingly, Tower law considers the Amyrlin to be Aes Sedai after having been raised, but does not require it as a prerequisite for raising - a fact that was exploited in the raising of Egwene al'Vere, who was only Accepted at the time.

WoT French16

An Amyrlin carried upon a litter in front of the White Tower

The Amyrlin is the supreme authority among the Aes Sedai, who formally refer to her as "Mother" and she to them as "daughter" or "child" for Accepted and novices. She is widely recognized as one of the most powerful women in Randland, though she can be deposed for malfeasance by the Sitters of the Hall. This is referred to as being "stripped of stole and staff" and has only happened four times in recorded history. The Amyrlin is assisted in her duties by the Keeper of the Chronicles, who is second in command and traditionally sits in on most audiences.

The title "Watcher of the Seals" means holder and protector of the seven seals on the Dark One's prison. A secret kept from the rest of the world is that no Amyrlin Seat had known where any of the seals were since the Trolloc Wars.[1]

Laws and customsEdit

There are many laws and customs concerning the Amyrlin.

  • Any visitor to the White Tower may demand to speak to the Amyrlin Seat, but few have the nerve to do so.
  • The Keeper of the Chronicles must announce the Amyrlin before her entrance into the Hall of the Tower by declaring "She comes! She comes! The Watcher of the Seals,The Flame of Tar Valon, the Amyrlin Seat." [2]

The physical chair from which the Amyrlin rules over the Hall is also referred to as the Amyrlin Seat. It is painted seven colors for each Ajah.

The Raising of an AmyrlinEdit

The ceremony for choosing a new Amyrlin is very old and very strict. The woman is summoned to the Hall of the Tower and brought in front of the Sitters for each Ajah. The first part of the ceremony is to make sure that only women are present. The youngest Sitter stands and inspects each woman, who is naked to the waist, in order to make sure only women are present. Ages ago, this portion would have been conducted with every woman completely naked. Once it is determined that every person present is a women, the eldest Sitter continues the ceremony by asking "Who stands for this woman and pledges for her, heart for heart, soul for soul, life for life?" Three Aes Sedai must then pledge themselves for the candidate; if they are not Sitters themselves, they accompany the candidate into the Hall when she answers the Sitters' summons.

After the three Aes Sedai have pledged themselves, the eldest Sitter asks four specific ceremonial questions which must be answered with equally specific responses:

<eldest Sitter>"Why are you here?"
<prospective Amyrlin>"I was summoned by the Hall of the Tower."
<eldest Sitter>"What do you seek?"
<prospective Amyrlin>"To serve the White Tower, nothing more and nothing less."
<eldest Sitter>"How would you serve?"
<prospective Amyrlin>"With my heart and my soul and my life, in the Light. Without fear or favor, in the Light."
<eldest Sitter>"Where would you serve?"
<prospective Amyrlin>"In the Amyrlin Seat, if it pleases the Hall of the Tower."

The Sitters present then stand if they feel the woman should be raised. Generally, most take their time, to show that they will not be easily controlled by the new Amyrlin. All Sitters must be standing in order to raise a new Amyrlin, as the Tower must remain whole. If some are not standing, the woman must go through and wash every Sitters' feet individually and ask, "Please allow me to serve." Once the washing is done, the vote is taken again and a third time if it is necessary. If any Sitter remains seated for the third vote, the woman who had hoped to be raised will most likely be exiled, along with the Aes Sedai who pledged for her, as they would always be a reminder of division within the Tower. Once raised, the new Amyrlin is given the stole with the colors of each Ajah on it.

The next day the new Amyrlin gives a speech in which she does several things of note. Firstly, she makes a statement about her standing as Amyrlin as well as her aims for the Tower. Second, all wrongdoings of Accepted and Novices are absolved and they are relieved from any punishments they may be undertaking. Finally, a celebration in honor of the occasion will go on for a month.

Notable AmyrlinsEdit

  • Elisane Tishar: The first Amyrlin Seat, raised in 98 AB. Credited with organizing and allying several diverse factions to form the modern Aes Sedai, and beginning the construction of Tar Valon. It is not known if she ever joined one of the modern Ajahs, but her extraordinary achievements, such as the founding of the White Tower and the elimination of several other groups of ajahs (note the lower case a), nonetheless suggest a woman of formidable character.
  • Caraighan Maconar: An early Amyrlin Seat and an archetypical Green sister, Caraighan is responsible for some of the greatest deeds in Tower history, although some of them might be exaggerated. She is said to be responsible for the quelling of numerous rebellions and the prevention of multiple wars, as well as having brought down several false Dragons, though she is not mentioned as having taken part in the capture and gentling of Raolin Darksbane, a false Dragon of her time. She was either extremely strong with the One Power, having been able to capture false Dragons on her own, or the histories are simply exaggerating her role. Nonetheless, Caraighan is considered an ideal Green sister by the Greens, and shares legendary status within said Ajah with Rashima Kerenmosa.
  • Tetsuan: Raised from the Red Ajah. Served circa 1200 AB. Stripped of her rank for betraying Manetheren because of her jealousy of Queen Eldrene's strength in the One Power. Replaced by an Amyrlin raised from the Blue Ajah, beginning the millennia long animosity between the two Ajahs.
  • Rashima Kerenmosa: Raised from the Green Ajah. Served 1251 - 1301 AB. The "Soldier Amyrlin", who served as a field general in the Trolloc Wars. She is credited with orchestrating the great victory at Maighande that turned the tide in the wars.
  • Bonwhin Meraighdin: Raised from the Red Ajah. Served FY 939 - 992. Stripped of the staff and stole for manipulating Artur Hawkwing, provoking him into besieging Tar Valon itself. The second Amyrlin to be stripped of staff and stole - once again from the Red Ajah - she was replaced by an Amyrlin raised from the Blue Ajah, reigniting the deep-seated animosity between the Ajahs.
  • Deane Aryman: Raised from the Blue Ajah. Served FY 992 - 1084, making her the longest serving Amyrlin in history hencefar. Restored the power of the Aes Sedai following Bonwhin's mistakes. Encouraged Ishara Casalain to found the kingdom of Andor and negotiated an end to the Siege of Tar Valon with General Souran Maravaile. Was on the verge of negotiating an end to the War of the Hundred Years when she died in a riding accident.
  • Tamra Ospenya: Raised from the Blue Ajah. Served 973 - 979 NE. Her Keeper was Gitara Moroso. Amyrlin during the Aiel War and the birth of the Dragon Reborn. Murdered by Jarna Malari, head of the Black Ajah.
  • Siuan Sanche: Raised from the Blue Ajah. Served 988 - 999 NE. Stripped of staff and stole and stilled along with her Keeper, Leane Sharif, for keeping secret the existence of the Dragon Reborn from the Hall of the Tower. Her trial was not carried out in strict accordance with Tower law, leading to a split in the Tower.
  • Elaida a'Roihan: Raised from the Red Ajah. Served 999 - 1000 NE, but only acknowledged as the Amyrlin by roughly one-third of the Aes Sedai. She carries credence as she rules from the White Tower in Tar Valon. Wears a six-striped stole, with no representation of the Blue Ajah. Her initial Keeper of the Chronicles was Alviarin Freidhen, but Elaida removed her for dereliction of duty and replaced her with Tarna Feir. Elaida was made a damane during the Seanchan assault on the White Tower. The Hall loyal to her, uncertain of her status, declared her dead or unable to serve and offered Egwene the Amyrlin Seat on her proposed terms: acceptance of her army into the city, welcoming back rebel sisters, and restoration of the Blue Ajah.
  • Egwene al'Vere: Raised directly from Accepted, fulfilling the letter if not the spirit of Tower law. Served 999 NE to the Last Battle, though at first only acknowledged as the Amyrlin by roughly one-third of the Aes Sedai. She was raised by the "Tower in Exile" in Salidar. Initially she was raised to be a puppet, but she has consolidated power for herself with, among others, Siuan's help, who became her friend and mentor. Her original Keeper of the Chronicles was Sheriam Bayanar. Egwene accepted the terms that the Hall proposed and was raised again, and again without any Red Ajah Sitters, this time because all three were out of the Tower. Because Sheriam was executed for being a member of the Black Ajah, Egwene chose Silviana Brehon of the Red Ajah as her new Keeper of the Chronicles. As one of the strongest women in the One Power seen in a thousand years, Egwene's status is already legendary, not only for purging the White Tower from the Black Ajah but also for being responsible for the destruction of two of the Forsaken. Had she survived, many Aes Sedai thought she could have been the longest serving and greatest Amyrlin ever. She fought in the Last Battle using Vora's sa'angreal where she discovered the counterweave to Balefire and destroyed Mazrim Taim (M'Hael) and nearly all the Sharan channelers in her last act.
  • Cadsuane Melaidhrin was taken aside after the Last Battle by Saerin Asnobar, Yukiri, Rubinde, and Lyrelle, who persuaded her to become the new Amyrlin Seat.

List of all known Amyrlin Seats Edit

Tamra Ospenya

Tamra Ospenya

Sierin Vayu

Sierin Vayu

Siuan

Siuan Sanche

Egwene in TAR

Egwene al'Vere

Name Took Seat Left Seat Ajah
Elisane Tishar c. 98 AB Unknown Unknown
Caraighan Maconar Unknown c. 373 AB Green
Tetsuan Unknown c. 1200 AB Red
Unknown c. 1200 AB c. 1250 AB Blue
Rashima Kerenmosa 1251 AB 1301 AB Green
Anghara Unknown Before c. FY 939 Unknown
Bonwhin Meraighdin c. FY 939 c. FY 992 Red
Deane Aryman c. FY 992 c. FY 1084 Blue
Selame Necoine c. FY 1084 5 NE Green
Rabayn Marushta 5 NE 36 NE White
Dalaine Ndaye 36 NE 64 NE Gray
Edarna Noregovna 64 NE 115 NE Blue
Balladare Arandaille 115 NE 142 NE Brown
Medanor Eramandos 142 NE 171 NE Gray
Kiyosa Natomo 171 NE 197 NE Green
Catala Lucanvalle 197 NE 223 NE Yellow
Elise Strang 223 NE 244 NE Gray
Comarra Zepava 244 NE 276 NE Blue
Serenia Latar 276 NE 306 NE Gray
Doniella Alievin 306 NE 332 NE Brown
Aliane Senican 332 NE 355 NE White
Suilin Escanda 355 NE 396 NE Blue
Nirelle Coidevwin 396 NE 419 NE Green
Ishara Nawan 419 NE 454 NE Blue
Cerilla Marodred 454 NE 476 NE Gray
Igaine Luin 476 NE 520 NE Brown
Beryl Marle 520 NE 533 NE White
Eldaya Tolen 533 NE 549 NE Blue
Alvera Ramosanya 549 NE 578 NE Yellow
Shein Chunla 578 NE 601 NE Green
Gerra Kishar 601 NE 638 NE Gray
Varuna Morrigan 638 NE 681 NE Green
Cemaile Sorenthaine 681 NE 705 NE Gray
Marasale Jureen 705 NE 732 NE Yellow
Feragaine Saralman 732 NE 754 NE Blue
Myriam Copan 754 NE 797 NE Green
Zeranda Tyrim 797 NE 817 NE Brown
Parenia Demalle 817 NE 866 NE Gray
Sereille Bagand 866 NE 890 NE White
Aleis Romlin 890 NE 922 NE Green
Kirin Melway 922 NE 950 NE Brown
Noane Masadim 950 NE 973 NE Blue
Tamra Ospenya 973 NE 979 NE Blue
Sierin Vayu 979 NE 984 NE Gray
Marith Jaen 984 NE 988 NE Blue
Siuan Sanche 988 NE 999 NE Blue
Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan 999 NE 1000 NE Red
Egwene al'Vere 1000 NE 1000 NE None
Cadsuane Melaidhrin 1000 NE Incumbent Green

Longest serving AmyrlinsEdit

Name Served Ajah
Deane Aryman 92 years Blue
Selame Necoine 56 years Green
Bonwhin Meraighdin 53 years Red
Edarna Noregovna 51 years Blue
Rashima Kerenmosa 50 years Green

It had been speculated by Nisao Dachen of the Yellow Ajah, as well as others, that Egwene would have become the longest serving Amyrlin Seat of all time, due to being raised at the age of eighteen. This was unfortunately cut short by her sacrifice during the Last Battle. Had she not been deposed and stilled - and had not Tarmon Gai'don been looming on the horizon - this title might have belonged to Siuan, having been raised at the age of thirty, which would have given her a reign at least two hundred years long, possibly two hundred fifty.

Etymology Edit

The title Amyrlin may be a reference to Merlin, magician and adviser to King Arthur.

NotesEdit

  1. The Great Hunt, Chapter 5
  2. Crossroads of Twilight, Chapter 19

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